Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is That a Potato?

I’m glad it was Margaret that called in for a visit while I was harvesting potatoes the other day... In spring I had encouraged my partner to plant something he loved to eat so he would spend more time in the garden. We had selected the perfect site - leaving some compost in the winter compost heap and adding a pot pourris of manure. Real seed potatoes were purchased and all were hand watered and lovingly tended and watched over.

Judgment day: after much digging, a very small basketful was all we could find. To admit this was our complete crop (we had also dug some rogue Kiplers that had grown by themselves) made me feel a complete failure. Margaret was sympathetic - hers had grown well this year.

Gardens can be like that though. The more I garden, the less attached to results I get. If something proves hard to grow, after several tries I try something else. It seems we all have vegetables we have an affinity with, that do well for us. Often, those same plants won’t grow next door in the same soil and conditions for our neighbours.

We have this idea that we have control over our patches of dirt. The reality is that nature calls the shots. The idea of failure never occurs in its cycles. It is us human beings that get upset when things don’t work out as we have planned. As I get older I am less goal-orientated and enjoy the act of creation for its own sake whether it is gardening, knitting or writing. While I’m curious to know why things happen as they do, I no longer take it as a personal failing if what I end up with is not perfect in my own very critical estimation.

There is magic in the unexpected and the different if we can look with the eyes of a child. If we need potatoes, we’ll ask Margaret!

1 comment:

  1. I just read your whole blog - how lovely! Very enjoyable to "escape" for a few moments! xo


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